Google Finally Stops Playing Mute On Net Neutrality, Says New Rules Won't Hurt Google Fiber In The Slightest

from the NOW-you-lend-a-hand? dept

While Google was a major player in the net neutrality fight early on, the company performed a stark about-face on the issue sometime around 2010. Google was responsible for co-writing the FCC’s original, wimpy net neutrality rules alongside AT&T and Verizon, which were jam-packed with loopholes and ensured that wireless networks and devices weren’t covered at all. When called out on this, Google pretty feebly insisted they weren’t being inconsistent, though it was clear to most folks that the company had shifted lobbying strategies in the hopes of fostering a better relationship across both sides of the political aisle.

As a result, when net neutrality supporters needed Google the most during the Title II debate, Google remained silent. Recently, when asked about net neutrality during press events, the company simply refused to comment.

Now that the Title II tide has shifted without Google’s help, the company has re-entered the discussion to once again support meaningful net neutrality rules. We noted a few weeks ago that Google told the FCC in a filing that Title-II based rules could actually help their Google Fiber deployment by streamlining the utility pole attachment process. Now in a conversation with the Washington Post, Google has made its clearest public statement in years regarding support for Title II net neutrality rules:

“The sort of open Internet rules that the [Federal Communications Commission] is currently discussing aren’t an impediment to those plans,” Google said in a statement, “and they didn’t impact our decision to invest in Fiber.”

That’s of course in contrast with AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, which continue to proclaim that if Title II neutrality rules are passed, they’ll stop investing in broadband networks and people will lose their jobs. Of course, the fact is AT&T and Verizon were already dramatically cutting back on fixed-line broadband investment and cutting those jobs anyway, and in many of the areas Google is now looking at for Google Fiber deployments. Again, Title II is only a worry for ISPs interested in abusing their gatekeeper position to make an extra buck, and that’s not Google Fiber’s MO as a disruptive new market entry looking to make friends.

Regardless and whatever the motivation, it’s nice to see Google join net neutrality supporters on the right side of the street again, even if it’s a day late and a dollar short.

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Comments on “Google Finally Stops Playing Mute On Net Neutrality, Says New Rules Won't Hurt Google Fiber In The Slightest”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I’m surprised Google took so long to comment on net neutrality, seeing as YouTube is the largest streaming service provider in the world.

Eventually wired/wireless telcom operators were going to start extorting Google with paid prioritization fees. Fees the wired/wireless telcom industries would justify by saying their interrnet exchange point links are overly saturated and are too costly to upgrade.

Even if Google offered to pay for the IXP link upgrade costs, themselves. Like Cogent offered to do, but Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable declined Cogent’s free upgrade offer.

It looks to me like Google was simply trying to keep from pissing off the wireless telcom industry heavyweights. Seeing as it has a strategic partnership with them. Through the sales of Android phones which operate on their wireless networks.

That One Guy (profile) says:

If you don't want it, I'll take it off your hands

So if AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast are all insisting that Title II means they won’t invest anymore, and Google is saying that Title II will have no impact on their decision to invest in broadband, then it seems to me the answer is simple: Stop giving the previous three companies any public money or perks related to broadband, and instead give it all to Google to use.

If they don’t want to bother investing in broadband, let someone who is still interested take up the slack.

chillinfart says:


Google took the opposite way in South America.

One of his representatives in peru agreed with two issues against net neutrality: the brazilian MarcoCivil (that put exceptions and a red button on it’s rules) and two attempts from MTC and OSIPTEL that broken net neutrality in 2013 and 2014.

And FYI, that started after FCC visited our local IT regulator (OSIPTEL).

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